Romantic Stories belong to a wider genre family called Love stories. Romantic Movies usually revolve around two lovers and deal with physical desire and sexuality. However, we should keep in mind that any kind of relationship can be explored in a movie. For example, the friendship of a buddy movie like RUSH HOUR, the platonic teacher-student relationship of a MILLION DOLLAR BABY or the parent-child dynamic of a THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Naturally, the manifestation of Love in the movies is as diverse as love itself. Nevertheless, Romance has always been representative of the entire genre family and this will be my focus in this article as well.
Many movies use love as a mere subplot (often called B-plot), interweaving it with the main plot of the story. For example, when a James Bond character chases the villain while flirting with a Bond girl. In contrast, in a real Romance Movie, the love story is always the main plot.
The most important Romantic subgenres.
Romantic Story Subgenres
Here are what I consider to be the most important Romantic subgenres with Movie examples:
The Romantic Comedy, also known as RomCom, is probably the most popular form of cinematic Love story today and is best known for its happy ending.
- FOUR WEDDINGS AND ONE DEATH
- HARRY AND SALLY
- THE WEDDING CRASHERS
The Romantic Drama is the serious love story and can have both a happy or a sad ending. The best-known form of Romantic Drama is the Romantic Tragedy, which hardly plays a role in Western society today. When it appears, it’s usually in the context of Historical or Fantasy settings or in foreign cinema:
- ROMEO & JULIET
- ANNA KARENINA
- WUTHERING HEIGHTS
Coming-of-Age Romance Movies
This subgenre is also called Teenage Love. Their first love drives teenagers to break away from their parents and grow up.
- FICKENDE FISCHE
- DIRTY DANCING
- THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
- TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT
Film Noir is a combination of Love Story and Crime Story. In this subgenre, a hard-boiled private detective usually falls in love with a criminal femme fatale that tears him down and ruins him fover.
- SOLO FOR CLARINET
- GOLDEN POISON
- WOMAN WITHOUT CONSCIENCE
- DANGEROUS PASSION
Experimental Romantic Movies
In every genre, you can play with the conventions and subvert the expectations of the audience. Does it really have to be two people who fall in love? What if it’s more than two? Do the characters have to fall in love at the beginning of the movie?
- FORGET ME NOT
Romantic Movie Checklist
Here are the key points to keep in mind when writing a Romantic Movie:
- Think about which genre or subgenre you write
- Create two individual main characters that belong together (one will usually drive the story)
- Find good reasons for them to fall in love
- Think of enough obstacles to keep them from each other
- Consider coming up with several rivals
- Have the characters make a personal sacrifice to come together
Top Romantic Movies in 2022
Maybe you’ve already seen one or the other:
TICKET TO PARADISE
LIFTOFF: MIT DIR ZUM MARS